Five Fun Facts: And Then There Were None (1945)
1) Can you say bestseller?
And Then There Was None, Agatha Christie’s detective novel was not only one of Christie’s own favorite books, but also one of the most popular books in the world! In fact, And Then There Were None is the #5 best-selling book of all time, according to Newsweek as of September 2021! Granted, it “only” appears at number 6 on Wikipedia’s list and number 7 on Business Insider’s list, but suffice it to say it’s a very popular book!
2) Silence is golden
There is no dialogue for the first five minutes of the 1945 film, until 4:58 minutes to be exact, when Vera Claythrone (June Duprez) says, “What a quiet place.”
3) The judge and the butler share a birthday
Barry Fitzgerald and Richard Haydn, who play Judge Francis J. Quincannon and Butler Thomas Rogers respectively, were both born on March 10 — although they’re 17 years apart, with Fitzgerald being the elder. Fitzgerald and Haydn also have another classic film connection, as they both also starred together in Miss Tatlock’s Millions (1948), directed by Haydn.
4) Mr. Gogarty, Simon Templar, a princess and more…
From Mr. Gogarty (Barry Fitzgerald in Bringing Up Baby) and Simon Templar (Louis Hayward aka The Saint) to Cosmo Topper (Roland Young) and a princess (June Duprez in The Thief of Baghdad 1940), the film’s cast is rich casts recognizable stars and character actors – not to mention a fabulous villain, Mrs. Danvers (Judith Anderson in Rebecca) and a talking caterpillar (Richard Haydn in 1951’s Alice in Wonderland). 🙂
5) And they lived happily ever after?
Although the 1945 film adaptation was based on the 1939 novel, it was more aligned with the 1943 play, which had a less tragic ending.
Well, those were my five facts, but here are a few extra bonuses, for those who are so inclined 🙂
The book and film are similar to and possibly inspired by (?) a 1930 play by Owen Davis entitled The 9th Guest, based on a 1930 novel The Invisible Host by Bruce Manning and Gwen Brislow ( ?). The 9th Guest was released on film in 1934. It is interesting to note that the 1945 film’s “invisible” host is named UN Owen (pronounced “unknown”) – and Owen is the first name of the author of the 1930 play.
Dudley Nichols wrote the screenplay for the 1945 film. He also co-wrote the screenplay for Bringing Up Baby (which also starred Barry Fitzgerald), as well as the screenplays for Scarlet Street, The Bells of St. Mary’s ‘, ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’ and ‘Stagecoach 1939’.
The cast of the film includes a “future” lady and a “future” gentleman. Judith Anderson was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1960 and C. Aubrey Smith was made a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in 1938 and was knighted by George VI in 1944.
Some say C. Aubrey Smith was the inspiration for Commander McBragg of Tennessee Tuxedo.
Richard Haydn, Queenie Leonard and C. Aubrey Smith also starred together in Cluny Brown. Haydn and Leonard also appeared in Disney’s Alice in Wonderland – Haydn as the caterpillar and Leonard as the “bird in the tree”.
Director Rene Clair also directed and co-produced The Flame of New Orleans, starring Roland Young and Micsha Auer.
AND – as part of our partnership with Best Classics Ever – you can stream And Then There Were None for free this month on the Classic Movie Hub Channel. Just click here, join for free (no obligation), scroll down and click the CMH Channel button – and start watching for free. So feel free to explore many other free movies to watch every month.
Other related blog articles:
Barry Fitzgerald and the Oscars
Silver Screen Standards: Raise Baby
Stream for free this month on Best Classics Ever.
–Annmarie Gatti for Classic Movie Hub
You can read more Five Fun Facts blog posts here.